Mass spectrometry imaging (MSI) is a technique used to visualize the spatial distribution of biomolecules such as peptides, proteins, lipids or other organic compounds by their molecular masses. Among the different MSI strategies, MALDI-MSI provides a sensitive and label-free approach for imaging of a wide variety of protein or peptide biomarkers from the surface of tissue sections, being currently used in an increasing number of biomedical applications such as biomarker discovery and tissue classification. In the field of rheumatology, MALDI-MSI has been applied to date for the analysis of joint tissues such as synovial membrane or cartilage. This review summarizes the studies and key achievements obtained using MALDI-MSI to increase understanding on rheumatic pathologies and to describe potential diagnostic or prognostic biomarkers of these diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: MALDI Imaging, edited by Dr. Corinna Henkel and Prof. Peter Hoffmann.
Keywords: Cartilage; MALDI-MSI; Osteoarthritis; Rheumatic diseases; Rheumatoid arthritis; Synovium.
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